GCI Update

New Church Structure

new structure

Dear GCI family,

Greg and Susan Williams

Hopefully you have taken the opportunity to see the video series where I spoke about REAL Teams. If not, you can check it out here on our Resources site. It is our goal to be more creative in the ministry tools we are producing, and we are designing these tools for ease of understanding as well as application.

A clear understanding of REAL Teams sets the precedence for what we are hoping to accomplish with the new organizational structure we have in GCI for every circle of leadership.

In short, REAL Teams reflect the perichoretic union of Father, Son, and Spirit; the holy, mutually interdependent, completely harmonious relationship shared by the three members of the Trinity. This same kind of love, intimacy and inclusion was displayed by Jesus in the way he interacted with the original disciples.

In John 15:13-16 Jesus told his disciples that they weren’t mere followers or workers, they were his friends. Friends with whom he shared the insights he received from the Father. Friends with whom he shared life-on-life experiences and in-depth dialogue (Luke 24:13-45). Friends that he shared teachings with, which were not disclosed to others (Matthew 13:36-52). Friends to whom he gave high challenges, always with high support seasoned with grace (John 13:1-17). Friends who received tender acts of love from Jesus (John 13:1-17). Friends who were present to share the deepest and most painful experiences of Jesus (Matthew 26:38). This type of friendship expresses the very nature of the Triune God in which we are privileged to commune.

The following chart is the best way to present the new GCI organizational structure. It is not 100% uniform as each region and country has its own set of nuances, but the alignment is close, and it provides me a meaningful way to communicate and serve our pastors and churches around the globe. The biggest upside for me is when I visit one of the six areas around the world, I will meet with 3-4 leaders at one time and it reduces my travel and hopefully amplifies my effectiveness.

GCI Ecclesiastical Chart
Note: GCI has National Boards in most of the countries included above. These are governing boards that provide oversight for their administrative leaders and body of churches. The appointment of national or regional leaders is done in concert with the GCI President with final approval from the GCI Denominational Board.

It is my desire to develop good chemistry with each of the six teams that we call “Communities of Practice,” and to whole-heartedly support each of the Superintendents. I am dedicated to listening, dialoguing, collaborating and planning with each group and as we bathe our times together in prayer. We expect the Lord of the Harvest to guide and bless.

This is a brave new undertaking and several of the leaders are new to the mix, so please join me in your prayerful support of each name on the chart. Even as I more fully step into the shoes of the GCI presidency, several others are stepping into bigger shoes as well, and I truly believe Jesus has raised up the right leaders for such a time as this.

I will work closely with the media team to keep you abreast of what is happening around the world of GCI. “We are GCI” and we are in this together!

Greg Williams

Regional Celebrations Registration

Register Now for a Regional Celebration Near You

In 2019, GCI will host 5 Regional Celebrations in the USA:

  • April 5 – 7 West – Portland, OR
  • June 7 – 9 Central – Dallas, TX
  • June 21 – 23 Southeast – Charlotte, NC
  • September 27 – 29 North Central – Noblesville, IN
  • October 25 – 27  East – Ocean City, MD

Click the image below to for more information and registration options.
Regional Celebrations 2019 Banner

 

GC Launch

Watch video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH816hcXsB4

GC Launch was a weekend celebration and leadership development event for high school juniors and seniors within GCI’s Generations Ministry. Over the course of the weekend, participants were introduced to and loved on by GCI leaders and the Home Office Team. They received a behind the scenes look at the ministries of GCI.

Photo Contest

GCI Photo Contest Promo

Do you attend a GCI church? Enter to win our 2018-2019 GCI Photo Contest and submit photos of your healthy church.
Prizes include, $100, $200, and $300 Amazon gift cards!

For more information go to: https://resources.gci.org/photocontest

Crossing Borders Winter 2018 Trip

Fully Engaged in Mission

Crossing Borders attendees group photo

December 7-10, 2018 marked the 26th trip into Mexico for Crossing Borders—a GCI-chartered missions team. As we’ve done on previous winter trips, we were able to personally distribute hundreds of shoebox gifts filled with necessary and fun items to the children.

Crossing Borders Lee and PedroOur group of 21 missionaries included some experienced hands and several who were brand-new to the missions experience. We had our first expectant mother on the trip—and we pampered her. And for a man and woman who met online only a month before, this mission trip was their “first date”—the first time they had spent time together in person.

Crossing Borders Kids at FernandoOur theme was “Engage”—for each person on our missions team to make special effort to be alert, involved and engaged in every aspect of the trip. Whether loading shoeboxes into the vans, singing songs at a church, listening to a Bible message, taking photos of the children and their families, visiting one-on-one with a child or church leader, eating a meal together, or sharing worship in our chapel service—to be fully engaged in what is going on, what God is providing at that moment.

Crossing Borders Crowd learns songs at MartaI wish each of you could be with us to see the smiles and hear the squeals of joy from the kids, to see the looks of gratitude from the parents, and to share the heartfelt conversations with our Mexican ministry partners.

We always take special resources with us to share on these trips. It might be a Bible commentary or an inspirational book for a pastor or orphanage leader, boxes of craft items that can be assembled and sold by the people to create some added income for their households, or songs or a drama that we perform during our trip.

Crossing Borders Kids Dressed Up as Angels at Marta Nativity SceneOn this trip, the children at one of the churches staged a skit of the biblical birth story of Jesus with full costumes. As we watched them tell the story, we realized that they were performing the skit based on the text of a printed flyer we had inserted into all the shoebox gifts last year. So they had utilized this resource to involve their own children learning and sharing the Gospel. God multiplies the resources!

Crossing Borders Shoe boxes at JuanitaWe are so thankful for all those who participate by sending boxes and praying for the mission trips. Your support makes a great positive difference in the lives of hundreds of people who need to see God’s love in action. Muchas Gracias!

Our next trip week-long trip is scheduled for June 22-30, 2019, with details on www.cbmission.org. Come join us or tell a friend!

P.S. We are in need of attendees who speak Spanish and can serve as translators. We also need someone to stay at the base camp and serve as our cook/camp host. If the Holy Spirit pricks your heart to consider serving in either of these ways, please contact Lee Berger at 903-746-4463.

Devotional – Inner Peace

Inner PeaceAnd the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7).

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, is speaking of inner peace, contentment that comes from God and is found in Jesus Christ.  When Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians, he was imprisoned, yet as with many of his letters, his greetings began with grace and peace. This was not Paul’s grace and peace, but rather, it was from God and that which is found in Jesus Christ.

Jesus promised to leave his peace with us, saying we would have troubles in this world.  Peace is not the absence of troubles.  Paul faced extreme adversity during his life,  yet he learned to be content.  Paul’s desire to know Christ was above all else.  He had a focus and such passion for knowing Jesus, he was willing to suffer the loss of many things.   As inspired by Paul, may we focus our thoughts on Jesus,  daily learning more about his life, his death and the power of his resurrection.  Paul shared this with such joy, may we also share the joy of knowing Jesus and live in the peace that is found in the knowledge of him.

Prayer:
Lord, we pray for the peace of God to be with us and in us, a peace that transcends human understanding.   Help us Lord to fix our eyes on Jesus and not on our troubles, and to pray always with thankfulness.

Daphne Sidney Portrait

 

By Daphne Sidney

Honoring David and Hinka Gilbert’s Service

Hinka and David Gilbert cutting the cake at their retirement party
Hinka and David Gilbert

On January 6, the Garwood, NJ, congregation honored David and Hinka Gilbert on their retirement after 34 years of pastoral ministry. We all love them and thank them for their dedication and loving service in Christ and pray they experience every blessing possible as they follow Jesus into this new chapter of their lives.

At the same time, the new pastoral team was installed by Randy Bloom, east regional director. The team includes John Adams, Richard Brothers, and Robert Tyson, Jr.

Installation of the new pastoral team
Randy Bloom, and Hinka and David Gilbert celebrate their new pastoral team: John Adams, Richard Brothers, and Robert Tyson, Jr.

Meet Franklin Paupens

Click on the image below to learn about GCI-India elder Franklin Paupens.